"Not as bad as I thought," the Briton told reporters after
discovering he was 'only' 36 points behind Mercedes team mate Nico
Rosberg with 18 rounds remaining.
Rosberg has now won six races in a row, the last three of 2015 and
first three of 2016, and the German is in the form of his life.
"Itís been awkward but these things happen and these things are sent
to try us," Hamilton said after starting from the back of the grid
"Of course I don't sit here at all with an amazing feeling but I
have the utmost confidence in this team," added the triple champion,
whose five-place grid drop for an unscheduled gearbox change was
compounded by power unit problems in qualifying.
Contact with another car at the first corner then damaged his
Mercedes and wrecked his chances of what could have been a
remarkable drive to the podium. He finished seventh.
"It was a horrifying race, really," he said.
"But there were some good experiences, obviously the overtaking. At
one point when I went around someone on the outside through turn
seven and then through the outside of someone at turn eight.
"I love doing that stuff, you know ... so there were some proud
moments for sure."
[to top of second column]
Hamilton can take heart from the 2014 season, when he trailed
Rosberg by 29 points at one stage before coming back to take the
title with six wins from the last seven races, and his mindset is
different now too.
"Definitely donít feel the dark cloud that Iíve had in the past over
me right now," Hamilton said. "Of course itís a trying time and for
sure lots of different emotions and thoughts are going through my
"But there's a long, long way to go, lots can happen. It's just that
I have no more jokers available, really."
(Editing by Alan Baldwin)
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